Māori Party Candidate Calls for Christian Leadership
Tasha Hohaia - Māori Party Candidate for Manurewa calls for Christian Leadership.
“I am a Christian. A bible-believing, spirit-filled, church-going Christian. This is an asset to politics.” declares Hohaia. Manurewa is home to one of the most faith-filled electorates in the country. Over fifty percent of the population consider themselves Christian and it has one of the most concentrated amounts of churches in the country.
Local University of Auckland student Ifo Muliaga stated her favourite places in her community are “the local library and my church.” While the people of Manurewa are faith-based, they are also realistic and see the effects of poverty every day in their lives. They want to see a thriving community where their whānau are lifted out of the clutches of poverty.
“A real concern that the community have shared with me as I have moved amongst them is the large number of women who have turned to prostitution every night as the only viable option of income, sometimes supported by their partners, and I am determined to do all I can to support them.” says Hohaia.
“Seeing our own people resorting to prostitution is a real concern and something that the community of Manurewa do not want to accept as an employment solution, they believe there is so much more that can be done for, and by, our community.”
“The legalisation of prostitution by Labour in 2003 ostensibly opened the door and while this has led to some safeguards for workers, others believe so much more can be done for communities, and I agree.” says Hohaia.
The Māori Party want to implement a range of policies that embody a Whānau Ora approach to addressing social, economic and cultural needs and aspirations. “We want to advance whānau-centred, community-led development projects in health, housing, employment, marae, education, rangatahi, environment and justice that will really lift people out of poverty.”
Christianity in politics has long been controversial, however Hohaia has redefined values based politics to mean effective value based policy too; that the most vulnerable would be protected from resorting to prostitution in the first place. “I believe my values system can be attributed to the culture God blessed me with, being Maori, and my belief system as a Christian. I believe God has more for Manurewa, that there is a place for values in politics – where we outwork what we believe.”
The Pacific One partnership with the Maori Party has organised a “Call to Action Youth Rally” at 16 Puhinui Road this Friday 8 th September at 7pm, where Tasha will be speaking and singing.
Manurewa Baptist Church has also organised a “Meet the Manurewa Candidates” evening at 9 Lupton Road, Manurewa next Wednesday 13th September at 6.30pm where Tasha will be speaking.